Talk to council about cultural area
‘Let’s Talk’ is the message from Taupo¯ District Council about the proposals for the Cultural Precinct.
The four proposals were presented to 330 mostly older people at a public meeting held last week, and consultant architect Shannon Joe of Warren & Mahoney said the consultation work done so far had produced valuable results.
“We’ve got 52 pages of consultation. This led to the identification of 16 points.
“The next step is to come up with a masterplan for a cultural precinct to create a place we can call home, a place that we can call our own.”
Shannon explained that the consultation process had identified things people want a cultural precinct to be: family friendly, give a sense of place, a sense of legibility, value for money and multifunctional. The consultation had also identified things people didn’t want the cultural precinct to be: administration buildings, carparking and a loss of green space.
As part of his presentation Shannon said that it was his opinion that Boat Harbour and the beach needs to be easier to find, that there needs to be a better connection between the town and the lake, and that the design needs to address the ‘wall’ along Tongariro St that effectively splits the town in half.
“The prevailing wind is very strong. We have got to come up with a design that’s good on a windy day,” said Shannon.
A question and answer followed, with the audience focusing on whether or not the cultural precinct should contain administration buildings to which Shannon responded by asking the audience whether they were ready for change. The overwhelming response was ‘yes’. He then asked if they wanted a cultural precinct to which only one third of the audience responded ‘yes’.
Others who are in support of administration buildings being included in the cultural precinct area said it was important to create a civic heart, and that locating council workers there would create activity and encourage community engagement.
The mood at the meeting was mostly against the proposal, in contrast to a meeting with business and retailers the evening before, where the reception was mainly positive.
People were keen to see more vibrancy in the area, more people and the opportunity to create a civic heart for Taupo¯ if issues such as car parking, police access and traffic flow could be dealt with adequately.
Photographer and Taupo¯ Chamber of Commerce and Industry board member Jeremy Bright, who was at the business consultation meeting, said people could get past the issues that needed to be resolved and see the opportunity that existed to tap into extra funding from government and other sources.
“The buying power with a cultural centre and arts centre is hugely increased. We can all see that and we want it.”
Once a decision has been made on the preferred option of the four presented, then the community will have an opportunity to consider it against two other standalone council building concepts.
All four of the cultural precinct options will use some of the existing buildings in the area, including the Great Lake Centre and library, and strengthen the green open spaces and the connections with one another to create new public areas for the community.
The options all include a new museum and a building for council’s administration functions.
Car parking will be merged into the landscape design and located as clusters within the site and on the bounding roads.
■ Make your thoughts known. You can make an online submission at www.surveymonkey.com/ r/GCWHN8Y or collect a submission form from the Taupo¯ District Council service centre at 46 Horomatangi St, next to the Post Shop.
The council is asking for the community’s views on the four options for a proposed cultural precinct on the Tongariro Domain.